|Age: 4165 (48)|
|Caste: Healer Warlord|
|Social Status: Entertainer|
|Playby: Bruno Pelletier|
|Jewels & Craft|
|Birthright Jewel: Summer-sky (94)|
|Offering Jewel: Opal (31)|
| Strengths: Tomas never really had any official training in Craft. Everything he learned, he learned at his mother’s knees. Or at her side… She, however, made sure that what she knew, so he would as well, to the best of her ability to teach it. He has also managed to pick up a few things here and there by being unapologetically open about his lack of knowledge and outright asking people if they’ll teach him something he doesn’t already know.|
This being the case, he knows Basic Craft quite well, summoning, vanishing, speaking mind to mind and moving items through Craft are all things he can manage. And due to his mother’s tutelage, he is also quite an expert in seduction. He has impressive control when he wants to seduce someone, and his compulsion Craft is very subtle. Whether this is because he isn’t quite certain that’s what he’s doing or from good teaching isn’t clear. He knows how to create phantom touches, and, over the years, has learned how to make use of them for more than bringing pleasure to someone. His mother also showed him how to create witchlights and witchfire, though he doesn’t have quite the same skills in this area as in the others, even considering that they are more useful than professional skills, he just hasn’t needed to practice them quite as much.
| Weaknesses: He can’t airwalk, and the only reason he can keep objects floating is because he also knows how to move them. But as soon as he’s supposed to keep them still, he won’t be able to. His success at bringing objects through other objects is spotty at best, and he only tries to walk through walls himself if it seems necessary. He has more success with this because he really, really doesn’t want to find out what would happen if he suddenly lost his focus, but he usually winds up with a few scrapes whenever he does it. He knows the theory behind some more advanced Healing spells and webs, but either isn’t confident enough or knowledgeable enough to try them on anyone.|
His knowledge of violent Craft, while he will readily acknowledge that it exists, doesn’t go any farther. His phantom touches and compulsion are the only things he might use to react offensively should he ever find reason to. Killing blasts or organized spells that will result in pain or death are unknowns to him. And he would prefer to keep it that way. He also knows very little about Black Widows or Priestessy things, and generally prefers to let such be the concerns of Black Widows and Priestesses, since it is their caste, not his.
Tomas is a man who knows himself inside and out. It’s how he’s come so far and still sees much of the world from an optimist’s point of view. He isn’t naïve by any means; his mother never could tolerate ignorance. But if he can’t change the world he lives in to suit himself, then he sees no reason to let it change him to suit it. So he learned who he was early on and clung to that knowledge and himself as tightly as he could throughout his life. He has changed over the years, but then, he wasn’t trying not to, he just let himself be aware of those changes, and if he didn’t like them, he would shift them around until he did. In that way, he is amazingly strong minded and powerful. He can look back on his life and understand every part of it, and he can accept it. He might have regrets, but they are not the burdens that they could have become.
Despite this stubborn resistance to letting the outside world shape who he is without first having his conscious consent, Tomas is a little lacking in the stubborn department elsewhere. It is rather as though he can only concentrate it on one part of his life, or that he saves up his store of stubbornness for those occasions that are a little more important to be stubborn about. Arguing over the little things just doesn’t matter to him, and so he has become quite good at either giving in or finding suitable compromises. And if he can’t convince someone not to do something dangerous, he’d much prefer to go with them to at least try to make sure things turn out all right. Because he doesn’t like turning away, and sometimes he’s had to just turn aside in the past, when he saw something that he shouldn’t have, because he was too scared or because there wasn’t anything he could do. And he wants to make sure that he never has to turn away from a friend in that same way.
The reason for his mild manners is the treatment he received as a young child, before he’d decided to be the man he wanted to be rather than the man everyone else told him he would become. It wasn’t terrible, but it was different enough that it stayed with him, and nothing he can do will ever erase the idea that he is less than others because of what he is from his mind. So, his self esteem is towards the lower end of the spectrum and, while it doesn’t show through all the time, in any new situation, it is fairly obvious that he only knows how to be himself and sometimes he isn’t certain that that will be good enough. It also comes through the most if ever the conversation turns towards him. He will become less animated and more downcast, as though awaiting some put down or criticism. He does know about this hesitancy and tries to keep it out of his life, but it’s a notion that has been too deeply rooted in his mind to be weeded out completely.
Were he less intelligent, or less capable of expressing his thoughts and understanding those of others, his resigned acceptance of the way things are as the way they should be might be seen as simple. He doesn’t hide his emotions behind a mask, because he doesn’t think he has anything to hide. He isn’t ashamed of tears, but he is experienced enough with the Hayllian mentality to know that crying in public should really only be done in exceptional circumstances. Still, he won’t pretend he isn’t hurting and if someone else feels the need to cry, he won’t hold it against them. If he’s angry, he’ll be angry, though he usually isn’t one for raging and ranting. If it’s a small anger he might raise his voice, but he won’t yell or start throwing insults about. If it’s a big anger, he won’t be able to find the words to speak at all and will either react physically, by punching, or he will just leave. After all, if he can’t find anything to say, there isn’t any reason to stay. His reaction generally depends on why he got angry in the first place and he usually apologizes for his behaviour afterward, whether or not he was mostly justified for being angry.
The one emotion Tomas will rarely, if ever, feel, is pride. His mother wasn’t a fan of it and believed life would be better without it and so he came to replace pride with an easy joy in a given talent or having done a good job. It helps him to not be discouraged if he doesn’t manage something the first time around and keeps him from doing things halfheartedly since he actually likes doing them well, and putting forth the extra effort, whether or not anyone else notices. This does not, however, keep him from not wanting to clean kitchens. Especially after having used them himself… He is also perfectly content with being happy about someone else’s accomplishments.
Tomas treats everyone with respect, no matter how old, young, elite, lowborn, likeable or unfriendly they might be. He is not better than anyone else and therefore can make no judgments. But he can know that there are those he would rather only meet the once, if at all. He won’t be rude about it, but he will try to avoid those people. He is most comfortable around people who know him, whom he knows and who are in a similar situation as him, in their perspectives, at least. Of course, since he isn’t better than anyone, the higher someone is in social hierarchy, the more Tomas will feel that he is below them, and this can make for some awkwardness until he grows used to their company. He is not a man for whom love is conditional for family, friends or that one special person. He doesn’t have a one special person and probably never will. To Tomas, love is general, and it’s nothing more than a simple step up from like. True, he doesn’t love everyone immediately, but he certainly doesn’t set his heart aside only for those who deserve it. He wouldn’t know where to start judging that. It’s really as simple as if he likes you he might come to love you just because you stayed in his life long enough. In truth, someone would have to try harder to make him dislike them than to make him like them, and losing his love is never easy, especially since he’s so eager to forgive, if not forget.
Tomas has an excellent memory for small details, such as the colour of a person’s dress or the tone of their voice. A name or the curve of a gesturing hand, or maybe the position of some statue. He is good with directions and landmarks, and will very rarely get lost in any city, whether or not he’s been there before. Rural areas are another matter entirely. He can also, if he puts his mind to it, affect the proper accent of just about any social class with barely a fault. Close inspection of his manners and choice of words will, inevitably, give him away, but he can still fool someone from far away. Sometimes, he will unconsciously adopt the mannerisms of those he is with, particularly if they make him nervous, since he will be trying to blend in by emulating them, but more usually he uses this little trick for bedroom pleasures or a simple bit of fun.
Once, there was a woman who told a lie. She told it not out of desperation, but because she felt it necessary. She was a mother, you see, and mothers will do what they feel they must, if it is for the children. Besides, lies are told every day, to others and ourselves, sometimes they are terrible and sometimes they are not. This does not excuse the lie told by that woman, but it is a reason and she hopes that someone will understand it, at least, and not condemn her as she has herself. It was a lie that changed lives, you see. And some of them, not for the better.
That woman lived in a Red Moon House, where she’d been living for years. It was no place, she thought, to raise a child. She was growing older too, and had already seen how age might ruin her. She needed the promise of security, but no one was going to offer such a thing to a pregnant whore. So, she told her lie that wasn’t so little to a man, and convinced herself that there was no way to know for sure and maybe it was the truth. Another lie. That man was a merchant from Dhemlan, one who often visited her when he came to Hayll. The lie was that the child was his. And may the Darkness have mercy on her but the man believed it.
He brought her back to Dhemlan with him. He gave the woman a house and a small allowance that she might not go hungry if she couldn’t work. But he was a married man, and it was not an easy thing to keep silent. He managed it for three years. Long enough for the child to grow and learn to laugh, to smile and to walk. To become a delight to his mother, until she would have done anything to ensure him a good future. Long enough for the man’s wife to notice and start asking questions. What woman wouldn’t when she sees an extra account she knew nothing about and then listened to her husband lie with every breath? Lucio never was a good liar. She turned to herself for answers instead, when he gave her nothing more, and found out about the other woman. It wasn’t so difficult when the man never could keep away for long. She only had to follow him to the house without him seeing her. But even if he had, there was little he could have done to stop her. She was a proud, stubborn woman.
She waited while he went inside and then, after he’d gone, she knocked on the door and confronted the lady she found there. I suppose you’ve already guessed that woman was me… We did not get along. I cannot blame her. I stole her husband from her, even if it was an accident, but had she asked, I would not have helped her win him back. She had lost him long before I won him, and my child needed somewhere safe to grow up. I did not mind sharing though. She did not want to. He was either hers, or she was leaving. It was her choice, I let her make it. She could not speak except to insult me. She would not listen to reason, and when I refused her demands to leave, she stormed from the house. I learned later she confronted Lucio about the matter.
The story goes that their voices could be heard along the entire block. And I would not be surprised if this was true. That woman had the lungs of a banshee and if ever Lucio had tried to shout over her, he would have had to be very loud. He told me of it later. That was a night for shouting. She shouted at me, and then shouted at him. So he came to yell at me, screaming and raving something terrible. He was like a man possessed. He should have known it would not last. There was, after all, a reason he went to Hayll to see to his affairs. I never should have picked him to be Tomas’ father, but there were few enough among the others to choose from. His wife divorced him that very night. Tore off her wedding ring and threw it in his face before storming off into the night. She had family to look after her, so she was not afraid to leave. She dragged her own child after her. And I wish I had known of his family before that night when I told him he would be a father. I wish I could make it different, but I cannot. I chose him, because he never admitted to having a family. I did not know he was married.
His wife and daughter paid that price. But it was her choice, not mine.
She gave him up then, and he would have given me up for what I had done. He blamed me and I blamed myself, now I know it is not my fault. Not all of it at least. But I didn’t give myself time to feel afraid or guilty. What’s done is done, and he was the man I’d chosen to look after my child. For better or worse, I wouldn’t let a better life slip through my fingers. Not for me, and not for my boy. I seduced him. The way only a woman can woo a man, and only a woman can trap him into staying. I know what I did, and I know why I did it. I seduced Lucio, I made him stay. I even convinced him that if his wife could leave him, she must surely be less than he deserved. I was the one he wanted, I had given him a son, and I could please him in ways she’d never learned. He took us into his house adding yet more insult to what had been done to the woman who had been his wife.
But I did not have all of him. There was too much guilt in his heart. He refused to marry me. He insulted me in such a way that said he believed I was good enough to bed but not good enough to wed. So, we both were hurting, and I suppose that does not help to make matters better, when neither wishes to reconcile. Despite him not formally marrying me, we lived together as husband and wife, and he continued to treat with Tomas as though the boy was his son. For which I was grateful, for it became increasingly clear that I had not found the right man. As my sweet Tomas grew older, he showed clear signs of being mine, but that was not the question. Not one of our ancestors had curly hair, that I am aware of, and certainly not that Lucio knew. He did not take after his adopted father in the least. Neither in looks or temperament. As the man once told me, with poor Tomas listening in, smiling and holding up a sketch he'd so proudly put together for his father, Tomas was no Valdez.
He took far more to the Hayllian traditions than the Dhemlan ones he was learning. Art came to him far easier than letters and numbers, and he had a lark's voice right from the start. Lucio was surely tone deaf not to appreciate the songs he sang us. Or he didn’t want to. I know that boy hurt every time he watched that man turn away from him. I comforted him so many nights as he cried himself to sleep on my shoulder I should have known it wasn’t worth staying. But I stayed anyway. Lucio was my man, because of what I had done, and he was, to Tomas, a father. I was caught, and left as the only one keeping them together as well as I was able. I did poorly I’m afraid. But Tomas still grew into a son any mother would be proud to claim as her own. And one any father should be proud of. But Lucio never saw past the wrong that had been done him by my lie to the opportunity I had given him. He never saw the son who might have been his but for his cold disinterest. I had hoped… I had wanted so badly for Tomas to have a family and a home. To have a father…
Had it not been for the constant reminder of Tomas’ appearance, Lucio might eventually have come to terms with the life he was partly responsible for. Had it not been for his wife’s proximity, her family’s estate was only a half-hour’s carriage ride away, he might also have gotten over his guilt. But he didn’t and their lives suffered for it. Tomas was a quiet child, growing up. He went to school, did as was asked of him and never complained. Not even when the man he thought was his father never acknowledged him but to tell him he’d done wrong. In a way, that was the best way to deal with Lucio, because he probably never could have done anything right in the man’s eyes. He was a bastard child, an embarrassment and the whole reason his wife had left him. After all, if Tessa hadn’t needed a father for her child, she never would have lied to him about the boy. Of course, Lucio knew that he was partly to blame and the guilt only made his treatment of the young boy worse. He never beat him, but he never had a kind word or smile to show for any of his achievements and to Tomas, that hurt worse.
Because of the community’s smaller size, it was more a town of nobility than a city or village, there was only the one school and all the children went there. For most of them, this was a pleasant experience, they were with friends and people they knew, but for Tomas it was merely a worsening of his home situation. Since most everyone knew everyone else, they were also aware of what their parents thought of their neighbours. Loretta, Lucio’s daughter, was well aware of her mother’s opinion regarding her ex-husband and the whore he lived with now, the one who’d stolen him away. Children can be, on occasion, far crueler than adults give them credit for. Not a one of those who went to that school cared to pay Tomas any mind and, as they all grew older, they bullied him, laughing and teasing. He bore it as bravely as he could, able to do so only because he knew he had a father. He lived in his house and saw him every day. But it still hurt the young boy to be called a bastard, and to hear his mother named a whore.
He’d never believe a word of it.
But then came his Birthright Ceremony… Unknown to Tomas, Lucio had warned Tessa that, while he would continue to look after them, he had no wish for the farce of family to continue and that if she named him as the father, he would put them both out of the house. Whether or not she still believed that lie she’d told him 130 years ago. Tessa had stopped believing before he had, yet neither of them had told Tomas the truth and he had pushed away all the obvious clues that things weren’t quite as he wanted them to be. So when, before a small audience and her disbelieving son, Tessa refused to name the father of her now Summer-sky Jeweled son, it shattered his thinly held together world for a time. His grades, which had already been suffering, dropped to failing and he began to avoid contact with everyone. Avoiding Lucio was understandable since the man had never been overly sympathetic, and his sole topic of conversation with Tomas was just how much the boy disappointed him. And he’d been keeping away from the other children almost since he started going to school. But when he avoided other adults, strangers, and stayed away from his own mother that worried Tessa more than she wanted to admit. She let him have his time alone though, because he needed the chance to reorganize his world. She left him alone for four years, patient as any among the long-lived, but no mother likes to see her child suffering and Tomas was very much wasting away.
So Tessa went to him and asked, outright, what was troubling him. She thought she knew, since this had started so suddenly after his Birthright Ceremony. And she was half-right, because, while he’d always known there was something different between the members of their family he’d only been forced to accept it at that moment. But the real problem he had was with his mother, not Lucio. To his mind she had lied to him, the one person in his life who seemed to care about him, but even that wasn’t so terrible as the possibility that if what the children said about his father was the truth then maybe so was what they said about his mother. Faced with all of this Tessa could only apologize for having kept such things from him, assure him that he was still her boy and she loved him very much and that yes, his classmates were right, if he wanted to be rude, she was a whore. Or rather, she had been a prostitute, and a well paid one, in Hayll before Lucio brought her to Dhemlan. And Lucio was looking after them because she’d made a mistake and he felt obliged but didn’t want to feel obliged and that was that.
Mother and son sat together for awhile in silence while Tomas digested that and when he finally burst into tears because he was a bastard and his mother was a whore Tessa wasn’t really surprised. He’d been long overdue for tears. She held him and let him cry and then, when he’d pulled himself together a little, she let him know, very firmly, that this didn’t really change anything except what he knew and that if he wanted to look at things that way, then she couldn’t stop him but at least she knew how to keep her man in her own bed, no matter what anyone else said. That line has stayed with Tomas for the rest of his life and it was that that helped him get over the insult society dealt him. If his mother didn’t consider it an insult, then neither would he.
Of course, this didn’t change how the rest of the world saw their family. Nor did it change the hurt of the obvious lie that had shaped his life and would continue to do so. But he gradually began to understand what his mother went through, and he saw how she dealt with it and he tried to emulate that ease with which she saw the world and accepted how it saw her without conforming to that image. It was difficult, but it gave him something to do and made bearing the children’s taunts a little easier.
Because Lucio was the one supporting them, and Tomas wasn’t doing so well in school anyway, he never had an official teacher for Craft, so he learned from his mother. And it was a close thing when it became obvious that he was a natural Healer, because his grades were so poor and Lucio didn’t especially want to pay for a boy to learn a woman’s caste. But Tomas wanted to be able to heal and he wanted to be able to do so confidently, so he worked hard to raise his grades and never stopped asking until Lucio finally relented. When he was 501 he had to leave home to go, but the only thing he really missed was his mother. It was a whole new world for him because it didn’t matter who your parents were in order to be a Healer. He thrived under their teaching, but it didn’t last long enough. He went back to Lucio and Tessa every summer and eventually Lucio decided that enough was enough and wuoldn’t let Tomas go back. He and Tessa got into more and more arguments over the whole thing until they were digging up old accusations better left buried. One thing led to another and then to unforgivable words being spoken.
Tessa packed their bags and they moved out, 764 years after they’d moved in.
They moved around for quite some time following jobs and never quite dipping into desperation, though they did go hungry once or twice. Tomas would work as a scribe or an escort, and his mother would work as a waitress, cook or house cleaner. If there was nothing of that sort available Tomas could almost always sing for their supper. After a time, however, Tessa grew frustrated with that lifestyle and decided that she wanted some security for herself before she got too old to be considered beautiful. And if she could earn enough money from it to keep Tomas fed while he finished training to be a Healer then all the better. So she found herself a Red Moon House and convinced the owner to hire her on. At first, Tomas didn’t like the idea of his mother going right back to where she started, but she claimed to prefer it since it was more consistent than their previous life and it certainly did earn more money than dishwashing, but never quite enough for Tomas to leave his mother alone again. Especially not where she was working.
To earn his own keep he worked in the kitchens, served tables and sang. When they’d been there a few years, one of the men employed there took him under his wing and taught him how to be a masseuse while his mother got her female friends to instruct Tomas on the finer points of what goes on in a Red Moon House. Eventually, Tomas worked up the courage to go off on his own and began his travels. He started off with short trips to neighbouring provinces and then broadened his field of exploration as time went on and nothing terrible happened. He would travel on his own earnings and sing the rest of his passage if he ran out. He never asked Tessa for any but he did get better at economizing. Much of his life is, to him at least, a learning experience. He will almost never turn down an opportunity to learn something new, just so long as it isn’t against his morals. Everywhere he goes, he questions the culture, their foods, their songs, their manners, and he is always prepared to hear new songs, above everything else. He hasn’t visited the entire Realm yet, since he does enjoy going back to places he liked, but he might manage it someday.
One time, when Tomas returned to Dhemlan he was introduced to a young woman after having been told that his singing had interested her. But for more than a massage. Since he wasn’t a bedroom employee, he was free to refuse and the manager had made this clear to the woman, but he decided to answer her request. They spoke afterwards, and learned a little about each other, mostly because Tomas didn’t know any better, old as he was, and then she left, being a foreigner, and life went on much the same as it always had for him.
Then, some 300 years ago, the same woman, one Ashira Morgan, came out again and spoke with his mother, leaving a message for him. When he returned from his most recent trip, he learned that she was starting her own Red Moon House in Hayll and that she was holding a place open for him as an employee should he wish. She would accept negotiations so long as they weren’t too outrageous and looked forward to speaking with him again. So, Tomas went and he convinced Tessa to let him look after her, because it was time she retired and he took on the older son role. Besides which, he didn’t want to leave her more permanently than he had previously. In the end, they both moved to Hayll, Tomas found her a nice house and joined the staff at The Crimson Kiss almost from its beginning. And he has been there ever since. Not continuously, since he didn’t want to give up his travels entirely, but he likes Hayll well enough and has made new friends for himself there.
98 years ago, his mother died, leaving him feeling alone in the world. It wasn’t so much that there was no one else who knew and liked him, it was more that she had liked him longest, as mothers generally do, and when no one else had. Perhaps as a result of this loneliness, or as evidence of his mourning, Tomas began to sleepwalk and now often finds himself in someone else’s bed come morning. He had the same problem as a boy, every now and again, and always found his way into Tessa’s bed. A night or two sharing her bed, just knowing she was there, would solve the problem, but now that she isn’t there any more, he has no way of solving it. He has gotten over her death in his waking hours, but the sleepwalking persists and he is lucky enough that Ashira puts up with it.
|Tomas is currently the manager of the Crimson Kiss.|
| Ashira Morgan (Boss) - Tiger Eye to Purple Dusk Jeweled Black Widow|
Shanna Morri (Good Friend) - Summer-sky to Purple Dusk Jeweled witch